Annual report on homelessness released

Apr 26, 2016 by


There was some good news and some not-so-good news when the annual report on the state of homelessness in Ottawa was released Tuesday.

Mike Bulthuis, executive director of the ATEH Ottawa which produced the report, provided the details at an event at City Hall.

One good sign is the average length of stay in a shelter was shorter in 2015. It was the first time since 2006 that the average length of stay in all of Ottawa’s emergency shelters had been reduced. Last year, the average stay was 73 days compared to 78 in 2014.

However, more people needed to stay in a shelter last year. There was a 4.9 per cent increase in the number of homeless men and women accessing emergency shelter beds. There was an additional 317 people who needed to stay in a shelter in 2015. “In other words, individuals are there for fewer days, but there are more of them,” noted the report.

So why are there more people needing a homeless shelter? According to the Alliance to End Homelessness, the increase is mostly attributable to the number of families accessing shelters. In 2015, 782 families needed to stay at a shelter compared to 706 in 2014.

The report also notes an increase in the number of older adults, 50 years of age or more, needing to stay in a shelter. Just as society is getting older, so is the homeless population.

Here are some numbers from the report:

Total individuals who had to access a shelter: 6825
Single men: 2972
Single women: 915
Single youth: 387
Families: 782
Total bed nights: 500,191

To see the full report, please click here.


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